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    July 11, 2014: Apply for a Thurber House residency!

    Thurber House has a Children’s Writer-in-Residence program for middle-grade authors each year and  guidelines and application form for the 2015 residency were just released.

    This unique residency has been in existence since 2001, offering  an opportunity for authors to have time to work on their writing in a fully furnished apartment, in the historic boyhood home of author and humorist, James Thurber. Deadline is October 31, 2014. For details, go to READ MORE

    July 10, 2014:

    Spread MG books in unexpected places 7/19
    Drop a copy of your own book or of another middle-grade favorite in a public place on July 19 -- and some lucky reader will stumble upon it.
    Ginger Lee Malacko is spearheading this Middle Grade Bookbomb (use the hashtag #mgbookbomb in social media) -- much in the spirit of Operation Teen Book Drop.  Read more ...

June 16, 2014:
Fizz, Boom, Read: Summer reading 2014

Hundreds of public libraries across the U.S. are celebrating reading this summer with  the theme Fizz, Boom, Read! Find out more about this year's collaborative summer reading program and check out suggested booklists and activities. Read more ...
 

April 30, 2014:
Join the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign and help change the world

The conversation on diversity in children's books has grown beyond book creators and gate keepers to readers and book buyers. What can you do? Take part in the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign May 1 though 3 on Tumblr and Twitter and in whatever creative ways you can help spread the word to take action. Read more ….

April 11, 2014:
Fall 2014 Children's Sneak Peek
A peek at forthcoming middle grade books (as well as picture books and YA books) in a round-up from Publisher's Weekly. First printed in the February 22 issue, but now available online. Time to add to your to-read list. Read more ...

April 9, 2014:
How many Newbery winners have you read?
You could make a traditional list of all the Newbery Medal Award-winning Children's Books you've read, but there's something so satisfying when you check them off and get a final tally on this BuzzFeed quiz. Read more ...

March 28, 2014:
Middle Grade fiction is hot at 2014 Bologna Children's Book Fair

For the second year in a row, publishers are clamoring for middle-grade, reporters Publishers Weekly. "I’ve been coming [to Bologna] for 12 to 15 years, and I’ve never had as many European publishers asking for middle-grade," said Steven Chudney of the Chudney Agency. Read more ...

February 14, 2014:
Cybils Awards announced
Ultra by David Carroll (Scholastic Canada) wins the Cybil for middle grade fiction; Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud (Disney Hyperion) wins for Speculative Fiction. Read more.

January 27, 2014: And the Newbery Medal goes to ...
Kate DiCamillo won the Newbery Medal for "Flora & Ulysses"; Rita Williams-Garcia won the Coretta Scott King Author award for "P.S. Be Eleven." Newbery Honor awards to authors Vince Vawter, Amy Timberlake, Kevin Henkes and Holly Black. For all the exciting ALA Youth Media Award News ... READ MORE

November 12, 2013:
Vote in the GoodReads semifinal round

Readers' votes have narrowed the middle-grade semifinals down to 20 titles. Log in to your GoodReads account and vote for your favorite middle-grade (and in other categories, of course). Read more ...

November 9, 2013:
Publishers Weekly Top Children's Books of 2013

Middle-grade and young adult titles selected by the editors of Publishers Weekly as their top picks of the year. Let the season of "top ten books" begin! Read more ...

October 14, 2013:
Middle Shelf: Cool Reads for Kids debuts January 2014

Shelf Media Group, publisher of Shelf Unbound indie book review magazine, will launch a new free digital-only publication for middle-grade readers. The debut issue features interviews with such notable authors as Margaret Peterson Haddix and Chris Grabenstein as well as reviews, excerpts, and more. Middle Shelf will be published bi-monthly beginning in January 2014.
Read more ...

September 19, 2013: Writer-in-Residence program at Thurber House

Dream of time and space to focus on your own writing project? Applications now being accepted (11/1/2013 deadline) for The Thurber House Residency in Children's Literature, a month-long retreat in the furnished third-floor apartment of Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio. Read more ...

September 18, 2013: Vermont College of Fine Arts Scholarship opportunity

Barry Goldblatt Literary launches The Angela Johnson Scholarship, a talent-based grant for writers of color attending the MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults program at VCFA. Up to two $5,000 grants will be awarded each year. Read more ....

September 16, 2013:
National Book Awards longlist for youth literature

For the first time, the NBA is presenting lists of 10 books/authors on the longlist in each category. The 2013 young adult literature list includes five middle grade novels and five YA. Read more ...

Sept. 13, 2013: Spring preview
Check out Publishers Weekly roundup of upcoming children's books to be published in spring 2014. Read more...

August 21, 2013:
Want to be a Cybils Award Judge?

Middle grade categories are fiction, speculative fiction, nonfiction. Applications due August 31! Read more ...

August 19, 2013:
S&S and BN reach a deal
Readers will soon be able to find books from Simon & Schuster at Barnes & Noble. The bookstore chain was locked in a disagreement with the publisher over how much it was willing to pay for books. Read more ...

August 6, 2013:
NPR's 100 Must-Reads for Kids
NPR's Backseat Book Club asked listeners to nominate their favorite books for readers ages 9 to 14. More than 2,000 people nominated titles, and a panel of Newbery authors brought the list to 100. Most are middle grade books. Read more ...

 
July 2, 2013:
Penguin & Random House Merger

The new company, Penguin Random House, will control more than 25 percent of the trade book market in the United States. On Monday, the newly formed company began to take shape, only hours after a middle-of-the-night announcement that the long-planned merger had been completed. Read more ...

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  • Keep Out! Giveaway and Interview!

    Giveaways, Interviews
    Photobucket

    It’s book launch and give-away time! 

    Today, we’re celebrating the US launch of Hélène Boudreau’s junior chapter book, Keep Out! (fiction for 6-9 year olds) with illustrations by Diane Lucas.

    A bit about the author: Hélène grew up on an island on the East Coast of Canada and now writes fiction and non-fiction for kids from her land-locked home in Ontario.

    Her debut middle grade novel, Acadian Star, was nominated for the 2009-2010 Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award. Keep Out! is her second work of fiction, with her third, Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings being released this December. She has also written 5 non-fiction books for children.

    A bit about the book: In Keep Out! Lucas and Andre try to solve the mystery of who, or what, has destroyed the endangered piping plover’s nest of Prince Edward Island National Park. And Lucas hatches a plan to get Andre to keep his dirty socks on his side of the room!

    *Read to the end to find out how YOU CAN WIN A COPY!

    Hiya, Hélène! Now is the time to get the story behind the story. What was your inspiration for writing Keep Out! ? 

    Keep Out! started as a back and forth e-mail exchange between me and my own twin nephews, Lucas and Andre. They were 8-9 at the time and loved books like Geronimo Stilton so I decided to write a book for them–and make them the stars of the story. The book is set in their home province of Prince Edward Island where I had worked for a summer as a Park Interpreter with the National Park Service. I borrowed some of the themes of wildlife preservation from my work there.

    Talk about your process of writing Keep Out!.

    Once I had about half of the book written, I sent it to my nephews to read via e-mail, since they lived 3 provinces away. It was really inspiring to hear their reactions and it gave me the motivation to finish the book and complete the second volume as well. When it came time to revise the books to be published, Lucas and Andre were already 12 (that’s how long it takes to get books published! LOL) but my own daughters were 6-8 at that point. They really helped by reading over my manuscripts, pointing out the ‘hard words’ and letting me know when one of my jokes fell flat. It is really useful to live with your target audience!

    There’s a second book? Are there plans to publish the second volume?

    Yes! I’m happy to say that Nimbus Publishing signed on for both books at the same time.  The series is called RED DUNE ADVENTURES, owing to the red sand dunes Prince Edward Island is so famous for and the second book (out next spring) is called Water Hazard. It is another eco-adventure mystery.

    Thanks, Hélène! Best of luck with the US release of Keep Out!. Here is the book trailer and links to the first chapter and the teacher’s guide:

    Read the first chapter: HERE

    Download the Teacher’s Guide: HERE

    Readers, if you’d like a chance to win a copy of Hélène’s new book, leave a comment below, and our random generator will choose a lucky winner on Thursday.  You’ll get extra entries for sharing a link on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter (please mention each link in a new comment).

    And don’t forget to check out Hélène’s other books, Acadian Star and upcoming Real Mermaids Don’t Wear Toe Rings, available in bookstores and online. To read reviews or excerpts from her books, visit Hélène’s website!

    38 Comments

    38 Comments

    1. denizb33  •  Oct 5, 2010 @1:27 am

      I love hearing about your writing process Hélène! Can’t wait to read Keep Out! :-)

    2. Lee Mandel  •  Oct 5, 2010 @4:55 am

      This sounds like a wonderful story. I can’t wait to read it and share it with my own kids. Keep up the good work, Helene.

      Hugs,
      Lee

    3. Andrea  •  Oct 5, 2010 @5:19 am

      I always love to hear about children’s books about the environment – yay! And it’s nice to see a Canadian author profiled. The story behind the story is interesting. Thanks for sharing!

    4. Jessica Subject  •  Oct 5, 2010 @5:54 am

      Keep Out! sounds like a great book that I would love to read to my children.

      I tweeted: https://twitter.com/?status=Stana%20Katic%20Interview%20CASTLE%20http://bit.ly/a19dts#!/jsubject/status/26445696548

    5. Jessica Subject  •  Oct 5, 2010 @5:57 am

      Sorry, wrong tweet. Something wrong with new Twitter. I hope this is the right one.
      https://twitter.com/jsubject/status/26445696548

    6. Sara Zoe  •  Oct 5, 2010 @6:53 am

      This is perfect! We really need more books for this age range … I’d also love to see, in addition to great realistic fiction mysteries like this, some other genres for the pre-Middle Grade readers.

    7. Sam  •  Oct 5, 2010 @7:28 am

      Sounds like a great book!

    8. Inspired Kathy  •  Oct 5, 2010 @7:38 am

      Please enter me. Sounds like a wonderful book.

    9. Inspired Kathy  •  Oct 5, 2010 @7:41 am
    10. Inspired Kathy  •  Oct 5, 2010 @7:42 am
    11. Karen B. Schwartz  •  Oct 5, 2010 @8:31 am

      Congrats, Helene! Sounds like a fun book!

    12. Cathe Olson  •  Oct 5, 2010 @8:44 am

      I too am always on the lookout for younger middle-grade fiction. Can’t wait to read the book.

    13. Mindy Alyse Weiss  •  Oct 5, 2010 @8:54 am

      Congrats, Hélène! I can’t wait to read Keep Out–it looks like a great mystery. Thanks for sharing your process with us. You’re right, it definitely helps to live with our target audience. :)

    14. Sharon  •  Oct 5, 2010 @10:08 am

      I love reading about the writing process, and did you know that Helene is a very funny person? I hope she’s practicing ‘safe snacking’ at this very moment, while typing something terrific…

    15. kisah j.  •  Oct 5, 2010 @10:11 am

      this sounds great! i know that my godkids will love this!

      k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

    16. Erin D.  •  Oct 5, 2010 @10:24 am

      I can’t wait to read this book! I’m always on the lookout for new mysteries.

    17. Helene Boudreau  •  Oct 5, 2010 @10:27 am

      Sharon, I actually GOL’ed (guffawed out loud, fyi) at your ‘safe snacking’ crack because I am noshing on almonds Right At This Very Minute. *reaches for compressed air to blow bits out from between keys*

      Mindy, I <3 having the chicklets as first readers. Plus, they're TOUGH. It helps that my littlest is MUCH funnier than I am and helps with the jokes. ;-)

      Sara & Cathe! I’ll actually be doing a blog post about great lower middle grade fiction in November. There is SO much good stuff out there.

      Andrea, it’s been really fun to write an environmentally-themed mystery; especially one set in an area of Canada I absolutely adore! It’s also been enlightening to hear stories from readers about their own experiences with endangered species. There’s something really special about caring for a species to keep it from becoming extinct. Kids, especially, seem to understand this, innately.

      Thanks for commenting and helping to spread the word about the giveaway, everyone!

      Bonne chance!

    18. Laurie Beth Schneider  •  Oct 5, 2010 @11:12 am

      As a wannabe Canadian who has always dreamed of going to Prince Edward Island what can I say but “Cool!”

      I’ve taken to running my MG jokes past my 11-year-old daughter. Even an eye roll is gratifying.

    19. colleen kosinski  •  Oct 5, 2010 @11:13 am

      Cute trailer!

    20. Laura Marcella  •  Oct 5, 2010 @11:31 am

      My nephews would like this! I’ve always wanted to visit PEI (ever since I read Anne of Green Gables) so I’m sure I’ll like it, too!!! Thanks for a great interview. :)

    21. Aimee Brown  •  Oct 5, 2010 @1:00 pm

      Sounds like a fun book and a great way to get to know an area we’ve never been!

    22. Cindy  •  Oct 5, 2010 @1:16 pm

      Would love a copy… thanks!

    23. Diana Greenwood  •  Oct 5, 2010 @1:21 pm

      Congrats, Helene! Sounds like a great read for this audience. Off to re-post this news.

    24. Michelle Dubois  •  Oct 5, 2010 @2:35 pm

      I’m so excited about reading this book to my boys and girls. I love the fact that it’s based in PEI and is great for teaching my boys and girls about the provincial differences.

    25. Lisa DeWolf  •  Oct 5, 2010 @2:57 pm

      Great reads by a great author. Looking forward to all your future writings.

    26. Liz Straw  •  Oct 5, 2010 @4:31 pm

      Count me in! I can’t resist MG book give aways. I have looked this one over a few times and thought it sounded interesting!

    27. The Book Maven  •  Oct 5, 2010 @8:20 pm

      This one looks good! Please enter me in the giveaway.

    28. The Book Maven  •  Oct 5, 2010 @8:23 pm

      Here’s the link to my FB post about your giveaway!

      http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/pages/The-Book-Mavens-Haven/117238354959540

    29. June Morgan (chorkie)  •  Oct 5, 2010 @8:36 pm

      Of course, I would like to enter! I have difficulty keeping good books for that age.
      Thanks.

    30. Llehn  •  Oct 5, 2010 @11:07 pm

      Love the trailer!

    31. Carol  •  Oct 6, 2010 @7:09 am

      Sounds like a really fun book. I have to agree I love the trailer too. CUTE!

      I twittered & will do so @OnlyMe3074

    32. Lynn  •  Oct 6, 2010 @8:32 am

      Helene, so exciting! Sounds like the boys will like this one too!

    33. Patricia Cruzan  •  Oct 6, 2010 @9:18 am

      It’s interesting to find out that your book came from an e-mail exchange with your nephews.
      Congratulations on getting a two book deal.

    34. Stephanie  •  Oct 6, 2010 @9:49 am

      Would love to read this one.

    35. Heather  •  Oct 6, 2010 @11:47 am

      I would love to be entered!
      littlebearries@yahoo.com

    36. Heidi  •  Oct 6, 2010 @3:42 pm

      Sounds like a fun read! And I loved hearing about your process in writing it!

    37. Michael G-G  •  Oct 7, 2010 @3:41 pm

      I love the line “it’s really useful to live with your target audience!” This looks like a great read, Helene.

    38. Helene Boudreau  •  Oct 7, 2010 @3:52 pm

      Contest closed. Thanks for entering, everyone! And thanks so much for your very kind comments. :-)

      Check the blog for the winner in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…